Category Archives: Poetry

Shush

Shush“, the Dover shingle whispers softly, sub-surface, sub-marine.

Shuuush“.

In the silty harbour sea, I cannot see my arms or hands or life.

The Dover shingle shifts. Slides and settles. We sigh together.

I am swimming with my eyes closed, and the shingle says “shush” and I open them and swim on.

Shush“.

Dover Harbour
Dover Harbour

 

*

I’ve written about the sound of swimming in Dover previously, but without explanation. Dover Harbour, not the most pleasant of swimming locations, is aurally different to any other location that I’ve swum and something about that sound reaches into me every time I hear it. Sometimes you really have to write for yourself.

 

If the wind gets worse

If the wind gets worse, I’ll have to give up,

If the sun doesn’t warm, I’ll have to give up,

If the water gets rougher, I’ll have to give up,

If the boat breaks down, I’ll have to give up,

If my shoulder gets bad, I’ll have to give up,

If I get hypothermia, I’ll have to give up,

If my crew get sicker, I’ll have to give up,

If this cramp gets tighter, I’ll have to give up,

If I miss the tide, I’ll have to give up,

If the boat runs me over, I’ll have to give up,

If the pilot tells me stop, I’ll have to give up,

If they run out of feed, I’ll have to give up,

If the boat runs me over, again, I’ll have to give up,

But for now, I’ll keep on swimming.